Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Mad Max: Fury Road is Certified Fresh

Plus, Pitch Perfect 2 hums a familiar but catchy tune, and Wayward Pines is Certified Fresh.

by | May 14, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got post-apocalyptic road warriors (Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron) and cutthroat a cappella competitors (Pitch Perfect 2, starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson). What do the critics have to say?

Mad Max: Fury Road

97%

Director George Miller made his name with the original Mad Max trilogy, and spent years trying to get a new installment off the ground. Well, the wait is over, and it was certainly worth it: critics say Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best action movies of recent memory, a blast of exhilarating thrills and spectacular imagery that’s both pulse-poundingly visceral and stealthily cerebral. After defecting from a massive fortress called the Citadel with a group of concubines in tow, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) eventually joins forces with expert driver “Mad” Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy). They’re pursued by a fleet of heavily armed vehicles, and a symphony of automotive mayhem ensues. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Mad Max: Fury Road is a glorious exercise in pop filmmaking — it’s uncompromisingly bold, breathlessly paced, and a lot of fun. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Hardy’s best-reviewed films, and watch our video interview with Miller, Hardy, Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, and more.)

Pitch Perfect 2

65%

Funny, likeable, and energetic, Pitch Perfect was a surprise hit, thanks to its catchy tunes and girl power esprit de corps. If you were a fan, critics say you’ll probably like Pitch Perfect 2 as well; even if it’s a bit more formulaic than its predecessor, the sequel has enough big laughs and showstopping musical numbers to make for a good time. This time out, the Barden Bellas a cappella group is in hot water after an embarrassing performance in front of a distinguished audience. In search of redemption, our heroines journey to Denmark to compete in an international vocal tournament, and wackiness follows them wherever they go. The pundits say Pitch Perfect 2 is pretty similar to the original, but the cast is game and first-time director Elizabeth Banks keeps the action moving at a steady clip. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of actors and actresses who can sing.)

What’s On TV:

Creepy and strange in the best way possible, Wayward Pines (Certified Fresh at 90 percent) is a welcome return to form for M. Night Shamalyan.

The Milk and Honey Route” (96 percent) reveals the fate of one of the show’s characters in a manner that is heartbreaking, yet also apt for the penultimate episode of Mad Men.

Kill the Boy” (100 percent) takes a fresh approach to themes of growth and change, using poignant storytelling to dramatize the challenges of making life-altering choices and struggles with power.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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